Alison Goddard

Alison Goddard is European bureau chief for Nature news. She oversees a team of award-winning reporters and freelancers across the continent and co-ordinates the publication's news coverage with the Asia Pacific bureau chief and the United States bureau chief. Alison took up the role in October 2017.

Prior to this, Alison was the launch editor of HE, which covers policy and market trends in higher education and is what the Financial Times would be if it were devoted to universities. The title launched in May 2013 with a reception at the British Academy that was addressed by David Willetts, who was then the universities and science minister.

She is also a writer, former correspondent on the Economist and author of a forthcoming biography of Luc Hoffmann, a green philanthropist who co-founded the World Wildlife Fund, oversaw the creation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and established numerous nature reserves across Europe and West Africa.

Her writing career began after a stint at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Geneva. Initially a freelance journalist, she wrote for New Scientist, Nature and the Independent. After a spell on Physics World magazine, she joined the Times Higher Education Supplement, where she spent seven years devising league tables, creating the vice-chancellors' pay survey and writing about politics and money. In 2005, she became science correspondent on the Economist, where she wrote about topics including the nature of reality, before landing the role of launch editor for the paper's online science section. She then spent several years as education correspondent, during which time she also edited the online version of the Britain section and covered topics ranging from the future of the Big Issue magazine to an obituary of Margaret Thatcher.

Her first degree is in physics, which she studied at Imperial College London, she then took a masters degree in science communication at the same institution. Later she enrolled for evening classes at Birkbeck College, London, where she gained another degree in politics, philosophy and history. After graduation, she joined the college's governing body. She served on the finance and general purposes committee and the research ethics committee. After her term of office came to an end, she continued as the independent member of the college's ethics committee, a role which she held for eight years.

Alison is married to the wonderful David Colling, who helped to discover the Higgs boson, for which Peter Higgs was awarded the Nobel prize, and who tolerates her love of Marc Almond's theatrical output. They are both qualified children's rugby coaches.

Still reading? You can follow Alison on Twitter @AlisonGoddard

Early examples of Alison's work